Please select your home edition
Edition
Bailey Insurance

The watery world of a Port Stephens’s boating safety officer

by Roads and Maritime Services on 11 Oct 2013
Med NSW Roads and Maritime Services .. ©
Growing up on the Clarence River, Paul Hearfield had a diverse career on the water before his current frontline role in boating education with Roads and Maritime Services.

Before becoming a Port Stephens based Boating Safety Officer (BSO), he worked as a first mate and bosun on superyachts, island hopping between places including Thailand and Malaysia.

He also worked on cruise ships, drove water taxis and adventure boats on Sydney Harbour, and worked in sea towing and salvage.

It is hard to imagine why BSO Hearfield gave up his posting as marine operations manager for a Thai resort or his role in production on the television show Survivor China where transferred contestants to tribal council by boat and moved film equipment and supplies.

'It was a pretty good job working on the 520 square kilometre Thousand Island Lake which is just amazing,' he said.

Although he said, with a smile, he would have enjoyed the experience if the contestants had been allowed to shower regularly.

'Becoming a BSO seemed like the next step in my career. I’ve seen many things in my time as a professional mariner and I really wanted to help educate the boating community to help keep people as safe as possible on the water,' he said.

BSO Hearfield has commercial qualifications including Master V and MED III and worked in Sydney for four years before accepting a transfer to Port Stephens two years ago.

'I couldn’t have asked for a better posting. I am able to work with the boating community in managing local aquatic events and be proactive in determining how best to get the safe boating message, like the importance of wearing a lifejacket so everyone can enjoy themselves out on the water.

'The diversity of Port Stephens is another drawcard, as is the marine community which includes a major commercial port, rivers, estuaries, creeks and lots of different activities such as fishing, scuba diving, sailing and kayaking.

'The other great thing is the people I work with and help are very approachable,' he said.

In May this year BSO Hearfield worked with a NSW Police officer in a search and rescue effort to locate a lone kayaker who had been drifting in the water for more than six hours.

BSO Hearfield is one of more than 60 BSOs who patrol NSW waterways including dams and offshore, as the face of Roads and Maritime on the water, sharing a wealth of information about boating safety requirements, marine legislation and water traffic.

BSOs conduct random safety checks to ensure licences and registrations are up to date and the correct safety equipment is being carried, manage moorings and provide education to school groups and the community at boat and lifestyle shows.

They also help with or control marine traffic for special aquatic events such as the Sydney-Hobart Race start or New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour.
GAC Pindar FreightSydney Harbour Boat Storage 660x82Beneteau PWR GT46 660x82 1

Related Articles

Coast Guard helps dewater, escort troubled fishing vessel off Cape Cod
The Coast Guard is escorting an 83-foot fishing vessel Friday after it started taking on water 50 miles east of Chatham. The Coast Guard is escorting an 83-foot fishing vessel Friday after it started taking on water 50 miles east of Chatham. At about 11:30 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England watchstanders received a radio call from the crew of the Krystle James stating they had six people aboard and were taking on water, reportedly from a hole in the hull.
Posted on 25 Feb
Lakes Entrance to celebrate food, fishing and tourism
Lakes Entrance celebrate/showcase wonderful array of Victorian seafood caught by commercial and recreational fishers Lakes Entrance will celebrate and showcase the wonderful array of Victorian seafood caught by commercial and recreational fishers and the beautiful places it comes from at the “Hooked on Lakes Entrance” event on March 12.
Posted on 23 Feb
See it first at the Gold Coast International Boat Show & Marine Expo
Boating enthusiasts will find everything they need to have fun on the water all in one place Boating enthusiasts will find everything they need to have fun on the water all in one place when the first major Australian boat show for 2017 gets underway on Queensland’s Gold Coast in just three weeks.
Posted on 23 Feb
Summer compliance blitz - Fish in protected zone and you'll get caught
Dedicated on-water and aerial patrols over the Christmas break resulted in 48 incidents of illegal recreational fishing Dedicated on-water and aerial patrols over the Christmas break resulted in 48 incidents of illegal recreational fishing in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, with these breaches threatening the health and resilience of the Reef.
Posted on 22 Feb
Honda Marine Introduces a bold new concept engine at Miami Boat Show
Honda Marine, a division of American Honda Motor Co., Ltd breaks the mould for marine engines Honda Marine, a division of American Honda Motor Co., Ltd breaks the mould for marine engines at the 2017 Miami International Boat Show with a bold new concept engine that could power the future of boating. With inspiration from across Honda’s line-up – including automotive, marine and aeronautical – the design concept engine is a blue sky vision for what future marine engines could look like.
Posted on 17 Feb
More marina space and exciting firsts for GC Boat Show and Marine Expo
More marina space and exciting additions to an impressive Fleet of Firsts have set scene for a colossal marine showcase More marina space and even more exciting additions to an already impressive Fleet of Firsts have set the scene for a colossal marine showcase both on water and on land on Queensland’s Gold Coast from 17-19 March.
Posted on 17 Feb
New Simrad S5100 Sonar Module
Simrad® S5100 High-Performance CHIRP Sonar Module is first sonar module to offer three fully-independent sonar channels Announced today, the Simrad® S5100 High-Performance CHIRP Sonar Module is the first sonar module to offer three fully-independent sonar channels to deliver high-resolution sonar across multiple depth ranges, making it a perfect fit for offshore sportfishing anglers
Posted on 17 Feb
New shellfish reefs is born in the bay
Andrews Labor Government is restoring shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay through a project, aims to improve bay health The Andrews Labor Government is restoring shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay through a project that aims to improve bay health, juvenile fish habitat and water quality.
Posted on 12 Feb
Club Marine Perth Intl Boat Show, a major event for WA Marine Industry
The Boating Industry Association of WA is announcing a major new event for the WA marine industry. The Boating Industry Association of WA is announcing a major new event for the WA marine industry. The Club Marine Perth International Boat Show will be launched in 2017 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre and Elizabeth Quay.
Posted on 11 Feb
Sportfishing products at the Miami Boat Show
The Taco Marine® booth at next week’s Progressive® Insurance Miami Intl Boat Show will feature several products The Taco Marine® booth (Tent C, booth 254) at next week’s Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show will feature several innovative and unique products in the company’s sportfishing range.
Posted on 10 Feb